It seems to me that some of my readers may not be familiar with how the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Church (SMMC) came to be as well as my reasons for being interested in the sedevacantist movement. Suffice it to say that I was once a parishioner at Mount St. Michael and attended their school more than ten years ago.
The story of how the SMMC was formed is due to a number of factors that came together at the same time. First of all, Bishop William Skylstad had invited the Missionaries of Charity to Spokane because of the many traditionalist chapels and churches that exist in this area and North Idaho. Through their prayers as well as the prayers of a Stewardship of Prayer Campaign at the parish they served (St. Patrick’s), some CMRI religious were able to come to the conclusion that Pope Benedict XVI is a true Pope and that Christ had kept His promises to St. Peter that the gates of hell would never prevail against His Church.
Yet the CMRI religious did not come to this point of view as a group. As they explain on their website (www.sisterofmarymc.org), the sisters found each other in the convent. Some of them would attend conferences that were given to the Missionaries of Charity, others would go onto the EWTN website to look for information, while still others were inspired to return to the Church after visiting Europe and watching Pope John Paul II’s funeral. No matter how the Sisters came to this position, it was deemed impossible for them to continue at Mount St. Michael.
It was because of this that Bishop Mark Anthony Pivarunas, the Superior General of the CMRI, wrote the following documents that were disseminated among the Sisters (http://www.cmri.org/02-sisters-letter.html). It clearly what the position of the CMRI is with regard to the Pope as well as what would happen to the nuns if they didn’t agree. Needless to say, 15 of the Sisters were pushed out of the Mount by the administration and left to form the SMMC.
On June 3, 2007, Bishop Pivarunas also preached a sermon in which he reiterated the sedevacantist position and how some of the sisters were going against it. The sermon is here (http://traditionalcatholicsermons.org/MiscArchives/BpPiv_TheNovusOrdoAndCMRI_Sisters_06-03-07.mp3) for anyone that would like to hear it.
The reaction from the pews at Mount St. Michael was one of shock and dismay among some members of the parish. Some of them had known these sisters for decades. The following (http://www.dailycatholic.org/issue/07Jun/jun8ed.htm) is an article that was written by one such parishioner. It recounts many things that happened as well as attempts to persuade the sisters that the Church in union with Rome is not the true Catholic Church, but a counterfeit church of conciliarism (a phrase coined by Dr. Thomas A. Droleskey of Christ or Chaos, a noted sedevacantist speaker). Needless to say, the article rehashes many of the old objections to the Second Vatican Council. It pleads with the sisters to turn back and return.
The problem is that you cannot come back to something or keep silent once you have learned the truth about something. When it comes to where the Catholic Church is, the answer is beyond doubt. It is with the Pope and the Vatican no matter how many flaws and problems the Church has had since Vatican II. I don’t mean to beat a dead horse, but I truly believe that what I am writing here is true.
The SMMC First Professions on Tuesdays were magnificent and moving as I have written elsewhere. I wonder how much their departure has changed the CMRI or if it has changed at all. I attended Sunday Mass there for a while, but things continued to lumber down the same road. Let us pray for their conversion and their reunion with the Papacy as well.